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March 4, 2011 / Omar J. Peters

Managing NYC’s Traffic

The NYC DOT Traffic Management Center (TMC) is the City’s road control and transportation nerve center. A lot goes on behind the scenes of the City’s roads and traffic lights! Some highlights:

  • The TMC has been operational since the 1960s.
  • NYC has over 12,000 signalized intersections.
  • Half (about 6,000) of the signals can be controlled by the TMC to change the light cycling intervals and patterns. NYC is working to bring all signals online with new wireless technology.
  • Up to 500 cameras are used to monitor traffic flow and intersections.
  • To monitor flow and respond to incidents, State DOT, NYC DOT and NYPD work together (in one windowless room with walls covered by screens). In that same room, variable message signs (the LED signs along the highway that update with delays and alt. routes) and 511 status are directly updated.


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